Wallaby Playmaker Showdown In Aussie Super Rugby Derby

Wallaby Playmaker Showdown In Aussie Super Rugby Derby

There is plenty to play for when Super Rugby round five kicks off on Friday when the Chiefs looking to end their losing streaking against a Hurricanes who trounced the Brumbies in round three before edging the Highlanders in round four. 


However, the second clash of the day could be one of the most intriguing matchups of the weekend as the Waratahs head to GIO Stadium leading the hosts by just two points in the Australian conference.

The clash in Canberra has numerous Wallabies taking the field making this a must watch! The most interesting of these head to heads will be that of Christian Leali'ifano and Bernard Foley in the 10 jerseys.

Foley's place in the starting line for the Wallabies has come under scrutiny for some time now with Michael Cheika testing the likes of Kurtley Beale and Matt Toomua in the 10 jersey last year. 

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Wallabies legend Simon Poidevin hit out at the Waratah this week warning Foley that he is in danger of losing his Australian jersey if a star-studded Waratahs back line continue to employ a conservative style he believes is boring fans.

Poidevin feels an ultra-impressive Waratahs backline was under-utilised against the Reds and that Foley, as the side's chief playmaker, was largely to blame. However, Foley's side were able to claim the W against the men from Queensland. 

 

 

Poidevin criticised Foley for standing too deep in the pocket and said  "It's going to be hard for Bernard to play for the Wallabies if he keeps playing those tactics.

Michael Cheika certainly has more options for the 10 jersey this season than he had last year. Quade Cooper has catapulted himself back into the conversation with a rip-roaring start to the 2019 season after being dropped from the Reds side last year.

Matt Toomua is seen as another option in the 10 jersey but has spent a large portion of his time in Leicester at inside centre. While Christian Leali'ifano's decision to delay his return to test rugby seems to have done the trick.

Like Cooper, Leali'ifano has enjoyed an outstanding start to the season. The playmaker was used regularly as an inside centre last year for the Brumbies but has made the 10 jumper his own so far this year. 

He was superb against the Chiefs and his kicking in open play has been one his standouts.

The battle at first five on Friday will be one Chieka certainly keeps his eye on. Another strong performance from Leali'ifano could force Chieka's hand with just a few months remaining before the World Cup, especially if Cooper continues to build on his early season form in the Republic as the Rebels face the tough task of facing the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

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